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The Palais de Tokyo On the occasion of its opening in 2002, the Palais de Tokyo immediately struck the visitor as different from other contemporary art venues that had recently opened in Europe. Although a budget of 4.75 million euros was spent on converting the former Japanese pavilion for the 1937 World’s Fair into a “site for contemporary creation,” most of this money had been used to reinforce (rather than renovate) the existing structure.1 Instead of clean white walls, discreetly installed lighting, and wooden ﬂoors, the interior was left bare and unﬁnished. This decision was important, as it reﬂected a key aspect of the venue’s curatorial ethos under its codirectorship by Jerôme Sans, an art critic and curator, and Nicolas Bourriaud, former curator at CAPC Bordeaux and editor of the journal Documents sur l’art. The Palais de Tokyo’s improvised relationship to its surroundings has subsequently become paradigmatic of a visible tendency among European art venues to reconceptualize the “white cube” model of displaying contemporary art as a studio or experimental “laboratory.”2 It is therefore in the tradition of what
1. Palais de Tokyo promotional and Website, “site de création contemporaine,” <http://www.palaisdetokyo.com> 2. For example, Nicolas Bourriaud on the Palais de Tokyo: “We want to be a sort of interdisciplinary kunstverein —more laboratory than museum” (quoted in “Public Relations: Bennett Simpson Talks with Nicolas Bourriaud,” Artforum [April 2001], p. 48); Hans Ulrich Obrist: “The truly contemporary exhibition should express connective possibilities and make propositions. And, perhaps surprisingly, such an exhibition should reconnect with the laboratory years of twentieth-century exhibition practice. . . . The truly contemporary exhibition with its striking quality of unﬁnishedness and incompleteness would trigger pars pro toto participation” (Obrist, “Battery, Kraftwerk and Laboratory,” in Words of Wisdom: A Curator’s Vade Mecum on Contemporary Art, ed. Carin Kuoni [New York: Independent Curators International, 2001], p. 129); in a telesymposium discussing Barbara van der Linden and Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Laboratorium project (Antwerp, 2000), the curators describe their preference for the word “laboratory” because it is “neutral” and “still untouched, untouched by science” (“Laboratorium is the answer, what is the question?,” TRANS 8 , p. 114). Laboratory metaphors also arise in artists’ conceptions of their own exhibitions. For example, Liam Gillick, speaking about his one-man show at the Arnolﬁni, Bristol, remarks that it “is a laboratory or workshop situation where there is the opportunity to test out some ideas in combination, to exercise relational and comparative critical processes” (Gillick quoted in Liam Gillick: Renovation Filter: Recent Past and Near Future [Bristol: Arnolﬁni, 2000], p. 16). Rirkrit Tiravanija’s OCTOBER 110, Fall 2004, pp. 51–79. © 2004 October Magazine, Ltd. and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Lewis Kachur has described as the “ideological exhibitions” of the historical avantgarde: in these exhibitions (such as the 1920 International Dada Fair and the 1938 International Surrealist Exhibition), the hang sought to reinforce or epitomize the ideas contained within the work.3 The curators promoting this “laboratory” paradigm—including Maria Lind, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Barbara van der Linden, Hou Hanru, and Nicolas Bourriaud— have to a large extent been encouraged to adopt this curatorial modus operandi as a direct reaction to the type of art produced in the 1990s: work that is openended, interact ive, and resist ant to closure, often appear ing to be “work-in-progress” rather than a completed object. Such work seems to derive from a creative misreading of poststructuralist theory: rather than the interpretations of a work of art being open to continual reassessment, the work of art itself is argued to be in perpetual ﬂux. There are many problems with this idea, not least of which is the difﬁculty of discerning a work whose identity is willfully unstable. Another problem is the ease with which the “laboratory” becomes marketable as a space of leisure and entertainment. Venues such as the Baltic in Gateshead, the Kunstverein Munich, and the Palais de Tokyo have used met aphor s like “laboratory,” “construction site”, and “art factory” to differentiate themselves from bureaucracy-encumbered collection-based museums; their dedicated project spaces create a buzz of creativity and the aura of being at the vanguard of contemporar y product ion. 4 One could argue that in this context , project-based works-in-progress and artists-in-residence begin to dovetail with an “experience economy,” the marketing strategy that seeks to replace goods and services with scripted and staged personal experiences.5 Yet what the viewer is supposed to garner from such an “experience” of creativity, which is essentially institutionalized studio activity, is often unclear. Related to the project-based “laboratory” tendency is the trend toward inviting contemporary artists to design or troubleshoot amenities within the museum,
work is frequently described in similar terms: it is “like a laboratory for human contact” ( Jerry Saltz, “Resident Alien,” The Village Voice, July 7–14, 1999, n.p.), or “psycho-social experiments where situations are made for meetings, exchange, etc.” (Maria Lind, “Letter and Event,” Paletten 223 [April 1995], p. 41). It should be noted that “laboratory” in this context does not denote psychological or behavioral experiments on the viewer, but refers instead to creative experimentation with exhibition conventions. 3. Lewis Kachur, Displaying the Marvelous: Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali and the Surrealist Exhibition (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001). 4. Under Sune Nordgren, the Baltic in Gateshead had three “AIR” (Artist-in-Residence) spaces for artists’ studios, but these were only open to the public when the resident artist chose; often the audience had to take the Baltic’s claim to be an “art factory” on trust. The Palais de Tokyo, by contrast, has up to ten artists in residence at any one time. The Munich Kunstverein, under Maria Lind, sought a different type of visible productivity: Apolonia Sustersic’s conversion of the gallery entrance featured a “work console,” where members of the curatorial staff (including Lind) could take turns manning the gallery’s front desk, continuing their work in public. 5. B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre and Every Business a Stage (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1999). The Baltic presents itself as “a site for the production, presentation, and experience of contemporary art” through “a heavy emphasis on commissions, invitations to artists, and the work of artists-in-residence” (www.balticmill.com).
Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics
such as the bar ( Jorge Pardo at K21, Düsseldorf; Michael Lin at the Palais de Tokyo; Liam Gillick at the Whitechapel Art Gallery) or reading lounge (Apolonia Sustersic at Kunstverein Munich, or the changing “Le Salon” program at the Palais de Tokyo), and in turn present these as works of art.6 An effect of this insistent promotion of these ideas of artist-as-designer, function over contemplation, and open-endedness over aesthetic resolution is often ultimately to enhance the status of the curator, who gains credit for stage-managing the overall laboratory experience. As Hal Foster warned in the mid-1990s, “the institution may overshadow the work that it otherwise highlights: it becomes the spectacle, it collects the cultural capital, and the director-curator becomes the star.”7 It is with this situation in mind that I focus on the Palais de Tokyo as my starting point for a closer inspection of some of the claims made for “open-ended,” semifunctional art works, since one of the Palais’ codirectors, Nicolas Bourriaud, is also their leading theorist. Relational Aesthetics Esthétique Rélationnel is the title of Bourriaud’s 1997 collection of essays in which he attempts to characterize artistic practice of the 1990s. Since there have been very few attempts to provide an overview of 1990s art, particularly in Britain where discussion has myopically revolved around the Young British Artists (YBA) phenomenon, Bourriaud’s book is an important ﬁrst step in identifying recent tendencies in contemporary art. It also comes at a time when many academics in Britain and the U.S. seem reluctant to move on from the politicized agendas and intellectual battles of 1980s art (indeed, for many, of 1960s art), and condemn everything from installation art to ironic painting as a depoliticized celebration of surface, complicitous with consumer spectacle. Bourriaud’s book—written with the hands-on insight of a curator—promises to redeﬁne the agenda of contemporary art criticism, since his starting point is that we can no longer approach these works from behind the “shelter” of sixties art history and its values. Bourriaud seeks to offer new criteria by which to approach these often rather opaque works of art, while also claiming that they are no less politicized than their sixties precursors.8 For instance, Bourriaud argues that art of the 1990s takes as its theoretical horizon “the realm of human interactions and its social context, rather than the
6. “Every six months, an artist is invited by the Palais de Tokyo to design and decorate a small space located under the main staircase but placed at the heart of the exhibition spaces: Le Salon. Both a space of relaxation and a work of art, Le Salon offers comfortable armchairs, games, reading material, a piano, a video, or a TV program to those who visit it” (Palais de Tokyo Website [http://www.palaisdetokyo.com], my translation). The current premises of Portikus Gallery in Frankfurt feature an ofﬁce, reading room, and gallery space designed by the artist Tobias Rehberger. 7. Hal Foster, “The Artist as Ethnographer,” in Foster, The Return of the Real (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996), p. 198. 8. “Contemporary art is deﬁnitely developing a political project when it endeavors to move into the relational realm by turning it into an issue” (Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics [Dijon: Les Presses du Réel, 2002], p. 17). Hereafter cited in the text as RA.
Bourriaud names many artists in his book. and many of whom were featured in his seminal exhibition Trafﬁc at CAPC Bordeaux 9. 43–53. as he sees it. portable. and “Double Negative: A New Syntax for Sculpture. recalling the premium placed by performance art on the authenticity of our ﬁrst-hand encounter with the artist’s body. The main difference. p. instead of looking forward to a future utopia. however temporary or utopian this may be. This emphasis on immediacy is familiar to us from the 1960s. is the shift in attitude toward social change: instead of a “utopian” agenda. .” in Passages in Modern Sculpture (London: Thames and Hudson. autonomous work of art that transcends its context. It is important to emphasize. p. this art sets up functioning “microtopias” in the present (RA. relational art is ent irely beholden to the cont ingencies of it s environment and audience. that Bourriaud does not regard relational aesthetics to be simply a theory of interactive art. He considers it to be a means of locating contemporary practice within the culture at large: relational art is seen as a direct response to the shift from a goods to a service-based economy. which on the one hand have prompted a desire for more physical and face-to-face interaction between people. in Berlin and at Documenta X (1997). In other words. This is reﬂected in the number of artists whose practice takes the form of offering a “service. but are actually given the wherewithal to create a community. while on the other have inspired artists to adopt a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach and model their own “possible universes” (RA. artists today are simply “learning to inhabit the world in a better way”. the Volksboutique. see Rosalind Krauss. The implication is that this work inverses the goals of Greenbergian modernism. relational art works seek to establish intersubjective encounters (be these literal or potential) in which meaning is elaborated collectively (RA.” Artforum (November 1973). 1977). this audience is envisaged as a community: rather than a one-to-one relationship between work of art and viewer.9 Rather than a discrete. Bourriaud summarizes this new attitude vividly in one sentence: “It seems more pressing to invent possible relations with our neighbors in the present than to bet on happier tomorrows” (RA. most of whom are European.S. p.54 OCTOBER assertion of an independent and private symbolic space” (RA. who offered back and shoulder massages to exhibition visitors. p. 13). 45). “Sense and Sensibility. relational art sets up situations in which viewers are not just addressed as a collective. however.” such as the Berlin-based U. and who later went on to set up a fully functioning secondhand clothes shop. p. This DIY. This change in mode of address from “private” to “public” has for some time been associated with a decisive break with modernism. 13). 18) rather than in the privatized space of individual consumption. instead of trying to change their environment. 14). pp.10 It is also seen as a response to the virtual relationships of the Internet and globalization. 10. social entity. today’s artists seek only to ﬁnd provisional solutions in the here and now. But Bourriaud is at pains to distance contemporary work from that of previous generations. Moreover. microtopian ethos is what Bourriaud perceives to be the core political signiﬁcance of relational aesthetics. artist Christine Hill.
2002).13 I now wish to focus on the work of two artists in particular. with its accessible references to mass culture. and leftovers from the aftermath of an opening event. many of the artists Bourriaud discusses have collaborated with one another. Pier comprised a 50-meterlong jetty of California redwood with a small pavilion at the end. . Ethiopia. Francois Curlet.” a theatrical mise-en-scène). European work is rather low-impact in appearance. The material they manipulate is no longer primary. an ever-increasing number of art works have been created on the basis of preexisting works. Jorge Pardo’s Pier for Skulptur. objects to be used. Dominique Gonzales-Foerster. It is basically installation art in format.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 55 in 1993. Several have also curated each others’ work in exhibitions—such as Gillick’s “ﬁltering” of Maria Lind’s curatorship in What If: Art on the Verge of Architecture and Design (Moderna Museet. Christine Hill. Unlike the selfcontained (and formally conservative) work of the British. while a cigarette machine attached to the wall of the pavilion encouraged people to stop and look at the view. relational art works insist upon use rather than contemplation. and others to collaborate with them in creating work around the defunct Japanese manga character AnnLee. born in Buenos Aires in 1961 to Thai parents and raised in Thailand. 2000) and Tiravanija’s Utopia Station for the 2003 Venice Biennale (co-curated with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Molly Nesbit). it is often hard to identify who has made a particular piece of “relational” art.” and is elaborated in his follow-up book to Relational Aesthetics: “Since the early nineties. readymade and original work. more and more artists interpret. which questions authorship and the institution of art. providing mooring for boats. Pierre Huyghe. and Manifestas that have proliferated over the last decade. These artists who insert their own work into that of others contribute to the eradication of the traditional distinction between production and consumption. but this is a term that many of its practitioners would resist. Stockholm. 12. Rirkrit Tiravanija. For example. since Bourriaud deems them both to be paradigmatic of “relational aesthetics. further blurring the imprint of individual authorial status. wall texts. See Bourriaud. Postproduction (New York: Lukas and Sternberg. and Canada. an ongoing project by Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno. Tiravanija and Gillick. Carsten Höller. Maurizio Cattelan.12 Moreover. . Pierre Joseph. M/M. or use works made by others or available cultural products. The work was a functional pier. since it tends to make use of existing cultural forms—including other works of art—and remixes them in the manner of a DJ or programmer. video.11 And unlike the distinctively branded personalities of young British art. reexhibit. . books. all of whom will be familiar to anyone who has attended the international biennials. because its emphasis is on recombining existing cultural artifacts in order to imbue them with new meaning. and Jorge Pardo. who have invited Liam Gillick. triennials. including photography. He is best known for 11. The best example of this current obsession with collaboration as a model is found in No Ghost Just a Shell. Certain artists are mentioned with metronomic regularity: Liam Gillick. The work of these artists differs from that of their better known YBA contemporaries in several respects. .” Bourriaud argues that postproduction differs from the ready-made. Rirkrit Tiravanija.” Rirkrit Tiravanija is a New York-based artist. reproduce. 13. Phillippe Parreno. Joe Scanlan. This strategy is referred to by Bourriaud as “postproduction. Projekte Münster (1997). rather than forming a coherent and distinctive transformation of space (in the manner of Ilya Kabakov’s “total installation. creation and copy. Vanessa Beecroft.
and the detritus.” Art in America (February 1996). in which he cooks vegetable curry or pad thai for people attending the museum or gallery where he has been invited to work. or Gordon Matta-Clark’s restaurant Food. p. plastic knives and forks.56 OCTOBER hybrid installation performances.” with paper plates. there are ample names to cite: Michael Asher’s untitled installation at the Clare Copley Gallery. including the director. Untitled (Free). In the storeroom he set up what was described by one critic as a “makeshift refugee kitchen. and food packets became the art Rirkrit Tiravanija. gas burners. Several critics. New York. Jerry Saltz.15 Underlying much of Tiravanija’s practice is a desire not just to erode the distinction between instititutional and social space. 303 Gallery. Food was a collective project that enabled artists to earn a small living and fund their art practice without succumbing to the ideologically compromising demands of the art market. but between artist and viewer. the phrase “lots of people” regularly appears on his lists of materials. and the Fluxus group. 106. Tom Marioni. Courtesy Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. have observed that this involvement of the audience is the main focus of his work: the food is but a means to allow a convivial relationship between audience and artist to develop. Los Angeles. In Untitled (Still) (1992) at 303 Gallery. among cooking smells and diners. 1992. Tiravanija moved everything he found in the gallery ofﬁce and storeroom into the main exhibition space. and some folding stools. opened with his artist colleagues in the early 1970s. who was obliged to work in public. two folding tables. If one wanted to identify historical precursors for this type of art. New York. exhibit whenever the artist wasn’t there. In the late 1990s. in which he removed the partition between exhibition space and gallery ofﬁce.14 In the gallery he cooked curries for visitors. A more elaborate version of the 303 Gallery installa14. “A Short History of Rirkrit Tiravanija. . Tiravanija focused increasingly on creating situations where the audience could produce its own work. New York. utensils. kitchen utensils. Daniel Spoerri. and Tiravanija himself. 15. in 1974. Other artists who presented the consumption of food and drink as art in the 1960s and early ’70s include Allan Ruppersberg.
which was made open to the public twenty-four hours a day. sleep in the bedroom. 1996. New York. although Tiravanija’s 16. Hyde Park. Germany.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 57 tion/performance was undertaken in Untitled (Tomorrow Is Another Day) (1996) at the Kölnischer Kunstverein. London (in which the artist writes on a blackboard “you are all artists”). Cinema Liberté (1999). The catalog accompanying the Kunstverein project quotes a selection of newspaper articles and reviews. Tiravanija asked the local audience to nominate their favorite ﬁlms. “Preface. People could use the kitchen to make food. “Tiravanija’s Liability. wash themselves in his bathroom. As Janet Kraynak has noted. or hang out and chat in the living room. Kolnischer Kunstverein. For Pad Thai. in the institutional embrace of Tiravanija’s persona as commodity. 1996). free of constraints.”16 Although the materials of Tiravanija’s work have become more diverse.” Documents 13 (Fall 1998). pp. allowing visitors to take up the instruments and generate their own music. Tiravanija built a wooden reconstruction of his New York apartment. Tiravanija. Udo Kittelmann. 26–40. he made available a room of ampliﬁed electric guitars and a drumset. 1996 (Tomorrow Is Another Day) (Cologne: Salon Verlag and Kölnischer Kunstverein. Tiravanija’s work has occasioned some of the most idealized and euphoric art criticism of recent times: his work is heralded not just as an emancipatory site. Cologne. Pad Thai initially incorporated a projection of Andy Warhol’s Sleep (1963) and subsequent incarnations included a ﬁlm by Marcel Broodthaers at Speaker’s Corner.” in Rirkrit Tiravanija: Untitled. Here. but also as a critique of commodiﬁcation and as a celebration of cultural identity—to the point where these imperatives ultimately collapse. In a project in Glasgow. See Janet Kraynak. As Janet Kraynak has written. the emphasis remains on use over contemplation. a project at De Appel. which were then screened outdoors at the intersection of two streets in Glasgow.p. Amsterdam. It is worth quoting Kraynak in full: “While Tiravanija’s art compels or provokes a host of concerns relevant to the larger domain of contemporary art . Courtesy Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. all of which reiterate the curator’s assertion that “this unique combination of art and life offered an impressive experience of togetherness to everybody. Untitled 1996 (Tomorrow Is Another Day). n. in 1996.
art criticism. installation. This idealized projection seems to derive from the work itself. Tiravanija’s itinerant ubiquity does not self-reﬂexively question this logic. whose generosity both animates the installations and uniﬁes them stylistically. or ethnic identity. Gillick’s output is interdisciplinary: his heavily theorized interests are disseminated in sculpture. and to the curatorial desire for “openended.58 OCTOBER dematerialized projects revive strategies of critique from the 1960s and ’70s. 17. and a recommendation to subscribe to a limited number of specialist practices. Ibid.” “laboratory” exhibitions. repositioned as both the source and arbiter of meaning. 39–40. 1992. Courtesy the artist and Corvi-Mora. and omnipresent ﬁgures on the international art circuit. My second example is the British artist Liam Gillick. and other biographical details of his life. a bulletin board containing instructions for use. guaranteeing both the authenticity and political efﬁcacity of his/her work” (pp. to an extent. what putatively guarantees the production of uncontaminated social praxis in Tiravanija’s work is the unique imprint of the artist. Unlike previous pairings of avant-garde utopianism. born in 1964. and as. . constructed it. as the artist has thematized details of his ethnic background in his installations through references to Thai culture. Liam Gillick. in which art merges happily with life. . social spaces.. 28–29). A prevailing theme throughout his work in all media is the production of relationships (particularly social relationships) through our environment. in which art objects are constituted in. . Examples include his Pinboard Project (1992). His early work investigated the space between sculpture and functional design. graphic design. and his work has been crucial to both the emergence of relational aesthetics as a theory. London.17 He is one of the most established. but merely reproduces it. The artist. and novellas. A host of articles have focused on the familial atmosphere of the gallery where he is represented. cultural. and anti-institutional criticality. curating. it is arguable that in the context of today’s dominant economic model of globalization. potential items for inclusion on the board. . is embraced as the pure embodiment of his/her sexual. rendering a covert equivalence between Tiravanija’s work and self. Pinboard Project (Grey). pp. its unique status in the public imagination derives in part from a certain naturalizing of the critical readings that have accompanied and. inﬂuential.
information transfer and strategy. Gillick has become best known for his three-dimensional design work: screens and suspended platforms made of aluminum and colored Plexiglas. 63. 81. 36. London. p.”18 Since the mid-1990s.. 1998. but in a way that carefully denies them any speciﬁc agency: each object’s meaning is so overdetermined that it seems to parody both claims made for modernist design and the language of management consulting. ed. Mike Dawson. Revision/22nd Floor Wall Design.” while the Big Conference Centre Legislation Screen (1998). which are often displayed alongside texts and geometrical designs painted directly onto a wall. quoted in Liam Gillick. meeting rooms and canteens.”19 Gillick’s design structures have been described as constructions having “a spatial resemblance to ofﬁce spaces.” Flux (August–September 2002). Gillick. Gillick. 20. Gillick’s descriptions of these works emphasize their potential use value. “Liam Gillick. 2000). bus shelters. and Prototype Erasmus Table #2 (1994).20 Yet 18. His 120 x 120 cm open-topped Plexiglas cube Discussion Island: Projected Think Tank (1997) is described as “a work that may be used as an object that might signify an enclosed zone for the consideration of exchange. 19. “helps to deﬁne a location where individual actions are limited by rules imposed by the community as a whole. a table “designed to nearly ﬁll a room” and conceived as “a working place where it might be possible to ﬁnish working on the book Erasmus Is Late ” (Gillick’s publication of 1995). Susanne Gaensheimer and Nicolaus Schaf hausen (Cologne: Oktagon. p.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 59 journals. 56.” but they also take up the legacy of Minimalist sculpture and post-Minimalist installation art (Donald Judd and Dan Graham immediately come to mind). . Courtesy the artist and Corvi-Mora. a 3 x 2 meter colored Plexiglas screen. but which is also available for use by other people “for the storage and exhibition of work on. Ibid. under or around it. pp.
Delay Screen. Regulation Screen. while also drawing attention to the space in which these were exhibited. . For Gillick. and Twinned Renegotiation Platform. backdrop or decor rather than a pure content provider. Dialogue Platform. London. Gillick seeks a perpetual open-endedness in which his art is a backdrop to activity. “It is sometimes a Gillick. . Big Conference Centre Limitation Screen. Gillick. in the manner of Bruce Nauman’s corridors or Graham’s video installations of the 1970s. it is arguable from Gillick’s examples that “improvement” connotes change on just a formal level. Gillick. 16. The Wood Way (London: Whitechapel.24 A word that he frequently 21. without the need for any art” (Gillick. my proposal made the architects rethink that part of the building . the task is not to rail against such institutions. 22. Arrival Rig. “It doesn’t necessarily function best as an object for consideration alone. Interestingly.”22 Gillick’s titles reﬂect this movement away from the directness of 1970s critique in their use of ironically bland management jargon: Discussion Island. p. All of these works were shown in The Wood Way. However. mirror. Gillick is happy for viewers to “just stand with their backs to the work and talk to each other. These would subtly change the way the space worked.” he says. 1998. 2002). Courtesy the artist and CorviMora. an exhibition at Whitechapel Art Gallery in 2002. and steel) are used by the state and commerce to exercise political control. . however. 24.”21 Rather than having the viewer “complete” the work. In 1997 he was invited to produce work for a Munich bank and described the project as follows: “I identiﬁed a problematic dead zone in the building—an oversight by the architects—which I proposed to solve with these screens.60 OCTOBER Gillick’s work differs from that of his art historical predecessors: whereas Judd’s modular boxes made the viewer aware of his/her physical movement around the work. 84. p. who exposed how apparently neutral architectural materials (such as glass.23 These corporate allusions clearly distance the work from that of Graham. but to negotiate ways of improving them. the architects came to a better conclusion about how to resolve their designs. Renovation Filter. 23.
16.” Art Monthly 270 [October 2003].” This is because it comprises “one of the key components required in order to maintain the level of mobility and reinvention required to provide the dynamic aura of so-called free-market economies” (Gillick.” Rather than determining a speciﬁc outcome. is what interests him most.” he says.” and to an extent his entire output is governed by an idea of “scenario thinking” as a way to envisage change in the world—not as a targeted critique of the present order. scenario thinking is a tool to propose change. Gillick alludes to more hypothetical relations. One critic has dismissed this mode of working as “corporate feng shui” (Max Andrews. and to design intercom systems for a housing project in Brussels. Gillick is keen to trigger open-ended alternatives to which others may contribute. Gillick is typical of his generation in ﬁnding no conﬂict between this type of work and conventional “white cube” exhibitions. Gillick would reply that the appearance of our environment conditions our behavior. 26. Without people.”25 It is worth noting that although Gillick’s writing is frustratingly intangible—full of deferral and possibility. such as a trafﬁc system for Porsche in Stuttgart. Fluxus instructions. “Liam Gillick. As Gillick notes.” Each was accompanied by a rhetoric of democracy and emancipation that is very similar to Bourriaud’s Renovation Filter. I have chosen to discuss the examples of Gillick and Tiravanija because they seem to me the clearest expression of Bourriaud’s argument that relational art privileges intersubjective relations over detached opticality. p. it’s not art—it’s something else—stuff in a room. Tiravanija insists that the viewer be physically present in a particular situation at a particular time—eating the food that he cooks. both are seen as ways to continue his investigation into hypothetical future “scenarios. drawing attention to the ways in which the proposed changes were primarily cosmetic rather than structural. but he still insists that the presence of an audience is an essential component of his art: “My work is like the light in the fridge. the compromise.’ Whereas Rirkrit can reasonably expect his visitors to eat his Thai noodles.” in Gillick. and Joseph Beuys’s declaration that “everyone is an artist. but “to examine the extent to which critical access is possible at all. The middle ground. 14). rather than the present and actual—he has been invited to troubleshoot practical projects. “The operative phrase here is ‘might be possible. “A Guide to Video Conferencing Systems and the Role of the Building Worker in Relation to the Contemporary Art Exhibition (Backstage). 27). Five or Six (New York: Lukas and Sternberg. . 25. an approach shared by Gonzalez-Foerster and Parreno” (Alex Farquharson. the viewer is offered a ﬁctional role. Liam Gillick. p. Gillick in Renovation Filter.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 61 uses is “scenario. “Prevision: Should the Future Help the Past?. and so the two are indivisible.”26 This interest in the contingencies of a “relationship between”—rather than the object itself—is a hallmark of Gillick’s work and of his interest in collaborative practice as a whole. which in many cases don’t even need to exist. 9.” Five or Six. “Curator and Artist. p.” Contemporary 32. it is unlikely that Liam’s audience will do his reassessing. p. even while it is “inherently linked to capitalism and the strategizing that goes with it. Instead of real activity. p. As Alex Farquharson has noted. alongside other visitors in a communal situation. “it only works when there are people there to open the fridge door. 2000). p. This idea of considering the work of art as a potential trigger for participation is hardly new—think of Happenings. 73). 21). 1970s performance art.
in Eco. . Writing on what he perceived to be the open and aleatory character of modernist literature. 28. “The Poetics of the Open Work” (1962). In short. 30).27 The theoretical underpinnings of this desire to activate the viewer are easy to reel off: Walter Benjamin’s “Author as Producer” (1934). it installs a new relationship between the contemplation and the utilization of a work of art. because the work of art is a “social form” capable of producing positive human relationships. Eco cites Merleau-Ponty in The Phenomenology of Perception: “How can anything ever present itself truly to us since its synthesis is never completed? How could I gain the experience of the world. 27. which is assumed to be passive and disengaged. 17). It opens a new page in sociology and in pedagogy. . 29. and literature to have foregrounded this fact. it is simply the achievement of contemporary art. Beuys is mentioned infrequently in Relational Aesthetics.” since it may produce an unlimited range of possible readings. Roland Barthes’s “Death of the Author” and “birth of the reader” (1968) and—most important for this context—Umberto Eco’s The Open Work (1962). Luciano Berio. The interactivity of relational art is therefore superior to optical contemplation of an object. pp. music.” p. a different status for the artistic product in contemporary society.62 OCTOBER defense of relational aesthetics. 30. music. The Open Work (Boston: Harvard University Press. This ambiguousness does not represent an imperfection in the nature of existence or in that of consciousness. . the work is automatically political in implication and emancipatory in effect.” However. and on one occasion is speciﬁcally invoked to sever any connection between “social sculpture” and relational aesthetics (p. It could be argued that this approach actually forecloses “open-ended” readings.30 His position also differs from Eco in one other important respect: Eco regarded the work of art as a reﬂection of the conditions of our existence in a fragmented modern culture. as I would of an individual actuating his own existence. since the meaning of the work becomes so synonymous with the fact that its meaning is open. as well as a new chapter in the history of art. 29 Bourriaud misinterprets these arguments by applying them to a speciﬁc type of work (those that require literal interaction) and thereby redirects the argument back to artistic intentionality rather than issues of reception. and art. and Alexander Calder in terms that cannot help but evoke Bourriaud’s optimism: The poetics of the “work in movement” (and partly that of the “open” work) sets in motion a new cycle of relations between the artist and his audience. 1989).28 Analogies with Tiravanija and Gillick are evident in Eco’s privileging of use value and the development of “communicative situations. It poses new practical problems by organizing new communicative situations. since none of the views or perceptions I have of it can exhaust it and the horizons remain forever open?. it is Eco’s contention that every work of art is potentially “open. “The Poetics of the Open Work. while Bourriaud sees the work of art producing these conditions. it is its very deﬁnition” (Eco. a new mechanics of aesthetic perception. Eco summarizes his discussion of James Joyce. 22–23. Umberto Eco. As a consequence.
”33 I will return later to the question of identiﬁcation that Deutsche raises.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 63 Aesthetic Judgment To anyone acquainted with Althusser’s 1969 essay “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses. 296. but which remained self-referential on the level of content. I am thinking here of much Conceptual art. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that relational art works are an outgrowth of installation art. Ibid. Without a sense of what the medium of installation art is. whose achievements—largely in photography—have been unproblematically assimilated into art-historical orthodoxy. the subsequent generation of artists “treated the image itself as a social relationship and the viewer as a subject constructed by the very object from which it formerly claimed detachment. Haacke’s work. vii–xxii. Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object 1966–1972 (Berkeley: University of California Press. 32. the work cannot attain 31. As Lucy Lippard has noted. notably Rosalind Krauss. installation art’s use of diverse media divorces it from a mediumspeciﬁc tradition.: MIT Press. the insight of Althusser’s essay heralded recognition that a critique of institutions by circumventing them had to be reﬁned. Althusser’s essay permitted a more nuanced expression of the political in art. Bourriaud’s defense of relational aesthetics is indebted to Althusser’s idea that culture—as an “ideological state apparatus”—does not reﬂect society. precisely because the work claims to be open-ended. pp. nor criteria against which we may evaluate its success. 1996).” this description of social forms producing human relationships will sound familiar. 295–96.31 It was not enough to show that art work’s meaning is subordinate to its framing (be this in a museum or magazine). For some critics. performance. identifying what the structure of a relational art work is is no easy task. In the meantime it is necessary to observe that it is only a short step from regarding the image as a social relationship to Bourriaud’s argument that the structure of an art work produces a social relationship.”32 By contrast. and Sherrie Levine. it therefore has no inherent conventions against which it may self-reﬂexively operate. Rosalyn Deutsche. 1996). p. Rosalyn Deutsche usefully summarizes this shift in her book Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics (1996) when she compares Hans Haacke to the subsequent generation of artists that included Cindy Sherman. video. installation art has been frequently denigrated as just one more form of postmodern spectacle. but produces it. As taken up by feminist artists and ﬁlm critics in the 1970s. and site-speciﬁc work that expressed its politics by refusing to gratify or collude with the art market. “invited viewers to decipher relations and ﬁnd content already inscribed in images but did not ask them to examine their own role and investments in producing images.. a form that has from its inception solicited the literal presence of the viewer. the viewer’s own identiﬁcation with the image was deemed to be equally important. Unlike the “Public Vision” generation of artists. Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics (Cambridge. However. it was in form (rather than content) that much art of the late 1960s aspired to a democratic outreach. she writes. See Lucy Lippard. 33. Italics mine. Mass. . installation. Barbara Kruger. pp.
Bourriaud. do we value the fact that Surrealist objects recycle outmoded commodities—or the fact that their imagery and disconcerting juxtapositions explore the unconscious desires and anxieties of their makers? With the hybrid installation/performances of relational aesthetics. like Gillick’s pinboards. . are less important to Bourriaud than the fact that he gives away the results of his cooking for free. See the conclusion to my forthcoming book. (The owner is at liberty to modify these various elements at any given time according to personal tastes and current events. an artist whose work he considers to be a crucial forerunner of relational aesthetics. or content.’ rather than to any aesthetic medium”—as best exempliﬁed in the work of Marcel Broodthaers (Krauss. who died in 1991).64 OCTOBER the holy grail of self-reﬂexive criticality. 1998. to which visitors are encouraged to help themselves. p. relational art works become. When confronted by a relational art work. 2005). which rely so heavily on context and the viewer’s literal engagement. p. For example.34 I have suggested elsewhere that the viewer’s presence might be one way to envisage the medium of installation art. what “social form” is produced by a Surrealist object? The problem that arises with Bourriaud’s notion of “structure” is that it has an erratic relationship to the work’s ostensible subject matter. Rosalind Krauss. 56. in the space it deﬁnes?” (RA. 18).) For Bourriaud. p. For example. Theoretically. and homosexuality (Perfect Lovers ). p. however. I am troubled by her reluctance to countenance other ways in which contemporary installation art might successfully operate. Gonzales-Torres made subtle allusions to politically charged issues such as the AIDS crisis (a pile of sweets matched the weight of his partner Ross. we can ask what kind of social model the piece produces. participatory art works are not just aesthetic. in a world structured by the organizing principles of a Mondrian painting? Or. and how. Elsewhere. these questions are even more difﬁcult to answer. how and for whom. for instance.35 He argues that the criteria we should use to evaluate open-ended. Gillick’s bulletin boards can be similarly questioned: Bourriaud does not discuss the texts or images referred to on the individual clippings pinned to the boards. but only Gillick’s democratization of material and ﬂexible format. He refers to these questions. demotes this aspect of Gonzales-Torres’s practice in favor of its “structure”—its literal generosity toward the viewer. This is reﬂected in Bourriaud’s discussion of Felix Gonzales-Torres. 1999). 109). Bourriaud suggests that we ask the following questions: “does this work permit me to enter into dialogue? Could I exist. which we should ask in front of any aesthetic product. in front of any work of art. A Voyage on the North Sea (London: Thames and Hudson. could I live. just “a constantly changing 34. but political and even ethical: we must judge the “relations” that are produced by relational art works. as “criteria of co-existence” (RA. 109). 35. Through this work. nor the formal arrangement and juxtaposition of these clippings. but Bourriaud complicates this assertion. While I agree to an extent with Krauss on the point of self-reﬂexive criticality. “Performing Art. Before his death from AIDS in 1996. Krauss suggests that after the late 1960s. November 12. what Tiravanija cooks. 36. it was to a “conceptual-cum-architectural site that art practice would become ‘speciﬁc. Installation Art and the Viewer (London: Tate Publishing.” London Review of Books. the structure is the subject matter—and in this he is far more formalist than he acknowledges. GonzalesTorres gained recognition for his emotive reworkings of Minimalist sculpture using piles of sweets and stacks of paper. urban violence (handgun laws in Untitled [NRA] ).36 Unhinged both from artistic intentionality and consideration of the broader context in which they operate.
p. and whether this is so detachable from the work’s ostensible subject matter or permeable with its context. for whom. but one in which new political frontiers are constantly 37. “Who is the public? How is a culture made. Several of the ideas that Laclau and Mouffe put forward allow us to reconsider Bourriaud’s claims for the politics of relational aesthetics in a more critical light.” Deutsche takes her lead from Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. for example. or giving free curries to refugees.” Flash Art (Summer 1992). although the works claim to defer to their context. 89. We need to ask. Bourriaud wants to equate aesthetic judgment with an ethicopolitical judgment of the relationships produced by a work of art. Eric Troncy. following what the authors perceived to be an impasse of Marxist theorization in the 1970s. they are conditions of its existence. do not ruin the democratic public sphere. they do not question their imbrication within it. and why? Antagonism Rosalyn Deutsche has argued that the public sphere remains democratic only insofar as its naturalized exclusions are taken into account and made open to contestation: “Conﬂict. . When Bourriaud argues that “encounters are more important than the individuals who compose them. But how do we measure or compare these relationships? The quality of the relationships in “relational aesthetics” are never examined or called into question. Published in 1985. all relations that permit “dialogue” are automat ically assumed to be democrat ic and therefore good.” I sense that this question is (for him) unnecessary. Gillick’s pinboards are embraced as democratic in structure—but only those who own them may interact with their arrangement. division. “London Calling. then. as Group Material did in the 1980s. then the next logical question to ask is what types of relations are being produced. and instability.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 65 portrait of the heterogeneity of everyday life. I am simply wondering how we decide what the “structure” of a relational art work comprises.” and do not examine their relationship to it. The ﬁrst of these ideas is the concept of antagonism.37 In other words. Their text is a rereading of Marx through Gramsci’s theor y of hegemony and Lacan’s under st anding of subject ivit y as split and decentered. Laclau and Mouffe argue that a fully functioning democratic society is not one in which all antagonisms have disappeared. But what does “democracy” really mean in this context? If relational art produces human relations. Laclau and Mouffe’s Hegemony is one of the ﬁrst books to reconsider Leftist political theory through the lens of poststructuralism. and who is it for?” I am not suggesting that relational art works need to develop a greater social conscience—by making pinboard works about international terrorism.
antagonism can be 38. 1996]. and pure presence. but is irremediably decentered and incomplete. and are therefore dependent on identiﬁcation in order to proceed. “ . The task is to balance the tension between imaginary ideal and pragmatic management of a social positivity without lapsing into the totalitarian. 1985). they maintain that without the concept of utopia there is no possibility of a radical imaginary. and the threat that the other represents transforms my own sense of self into something questionable. p. because it concerns full identities. Following Lacan. . the subject is not equivalent to a conscious sense of agency: “Lacan’s ‘subject’ is the subject of the unconscious . Following Lacan. as this self-determination is not the expression of what the subject already is but the result of its lack of being instead. For Lacan. the presence of what is not me renders my identity precarious and vulnerable. . he argues that we have a failed structural identity. However. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (London: Verso. Antagonism. the subject is partially self-determined. Chantal Mouffe [London: Routledge. castrated. such as contradiction (A-not A) or “real difference” (A-B). is the relationship that emerges between such incomplete entities. p. 55). “we are confronted with a different situation: the presence of the ‘Other’ prevents me from being totally myself. . . Nor is “real difference” (A-B) equal to antagonism. 125. An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis [London: Routledge.” On the contrary.39 Because subjectivity is this process of identiﬁcation. rational. Laclau contrasts this to the relationships that emerge between complete entities. antagonism does not signal “the expulsion of utopia from the ﬁeld of the political. ed. while “agency” implies a fully present. . 195–96). the absolute subject). self-determination can only proceed through processes of identiﬁcation” (Ernesto Laclau. The relation arises not from full totalities.. a democratic society is one in which relations of conﬂict are sustained. not erased. autonomous subject of political will and self-determination. but from the impossibility of their constitution. which is inimical to democracy. pp. therefore. 1996]. Without antagonism there is only the imposed consensus of authoritarian order—a total suppression of debate and discussion.e. there are mater ialist s who read horoscopes and psychoanalyst s who send Christmas cards) but this does not result in antagonism.66 OCTOBER being drawn and brought into debate—in other words. we are necessarily incomplete entities. 40. It is important to stress right away that the idea of antagonism is not understood by Laclau and Mouffe to be a pessimistic acceptance of political deadlock. Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. New Reﬂections on the Revolution of Our Time (1990). This understanding of antagonism is grounded in Laclau and Mouffe’s theory of subjectivity. When played out on a social level.38 However. inescapably divided.” In the case of antagonism. it results in collision—like a car crash or “the war against terrorism. argue Laclau and Mouffe. surely there is a conﬂict between a concept of the subject as decentered and the idea of political agency? “Decentering” implies the lack of a uniﬁed subject. because the subject is neither entirely decentered (which would imply psychosis) nor entirely uniﬁed (i. Laclau argues that this conflict is false. they argue that subjectivity is not a selftransparent. We all hold mutually contradictory beliefs (for example. quoted in Deconstruction and Pragmatism.’’40 In other words. split” as a result of his/her entry into language (Dylan Evans. 39.
Such communication is ﬁne to an extent . that the galleries had been showing too much mediocre art.” To be fair. I was joined by an unidentiﬁed woman and a curious ﬂirtation ﬁlled the air. “nothing’s going right today. but it is not in and of it self emblemat ic of “democracy. as Bourriaud suggests.” p. jocularity and frank talk. felt it was about time. let’s go to Rirkrit’s. Another time I ate with Gavin Brown. Everyone has a common interest in art. There is debate and dialogue in a Tiravanija cooking piece. Mouffe. and because it evokes the atmosphere of a late-night bar. The gallery became a place for sharing.” in Deconstruction and Pragmatism.” We did. to be sure. and he said. . I had an amazing run of meals with art dealers. About a week later I ate with David Zwirner. and it was nice. Another day. exhibition reviews. Later in the show’s run. The only substantial account that I can ﬁnd of Tiravanija’s ﬁrst solo exhibition at 303 Gallery is by Jerry Saltz in Art in America. . Whatever is at the boundary of the social (and of identity). “Introduction. complicated bit of professional gossip. since they rest too comfortably within an ideal of subjectivity as whole and of community as immanent togetherness.42 The informal chattiness of this account clearly indicates what kind of problems face those who wish to know more about such work: the review only tells us that Tiravanija’s intervention is considered good because it permits networking among a group of art dealers and like-minded art lovers. conﬂicts and antagonisms constitute at the same time the condition of impossibility of its ﬁnal achievement. 42. who talked about the collapse of SoHo—only he welcomed it. “A Short History of Rirkrit Tiravanija. seeking to deﬁne it also destroys its ambition to constitute a full presence: “As conditions of possibility for the existence of a pluralist democracy. I think that Bourriaud recognizes this problem—but he does not raise it in relation to the artists he promotes: “Connecting people. because they have something in common. Another time I chatted with a young artist who lived in Brooklyn who had real insights about the shows he’d just seen. . but there is no inherent friction since the situation is what Bourriaud calls “microtopian”: it produces a community whose members identify with each other. the artist and dealer . I bumped into him on the street. 11.”41 I dwell on this theory in order to suggest that the relations set up by relational aesthetics are not intrinsically democratic. and ﬂirtation. and it runs as follows: At 303 Gallery I regularly sat with or was joined by a stranger. 107. Lisa Spellman related in hilarious detail a story of intrigue about a fellow dealer trying. Saltz. to woo one of her artists. and the result is art-world gossip. 41. creating interactive.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 67 viewed as the limits of society’s ability to fully constitute itself. Once I ate with Paula Cooper who recounted a long. and he talked about a lack of excitement in the New York art world. unsuccessfully. p.
since all questions return to the hackneyed nonissue of “is it art?”48 Despite Tiravanija’s rhetoric of open-endedness and viewer emancipation.”43 I would argue that Tiravanija’s art. 48.” p.68 OCTOBER communicative experience. Saltz muses on this question in a wonderfully blinkered fashion: “ . yet the artistic context automatically leads all discussions back to the question about the function of art.” p.”)46 His installations reﬂect Bourriaud’s understanding of the relations produced by relational art works as fundamentally harmonious. . and jimmies the lock (so efﬁciently left bolted by much so-called political art) on the door that separates the art world from everything else. Nancy’s text has become an increasingly important reference point for writers on contemporary art.” in Rirkrit Tiravanija. 44. The content of this dialogue is not in itself democratic. “A Short History of Rirkrit Tiravanija. “Preface.” he says. George Baker. falls short of addressing the political aspect of communication—even while certain of his projects do at ﬁrst glance appear to address it in a dissonant fashion. “What for? If you forget the ‘what for?’ I’m afraid you’re left with simple Nokia art—producing interpersonal relations for their own sake and never addressing their political aspects.47 This is why Tiravanija’s works are political only in the loosest sense of advocating dialogue over monologue (the one-way communication equated with spectacle by the Situationists). every day? . 46. as seen in Rosalyn Deutsche. 2002). Jean-Luc Nancy’s critique of the Marxist idea of community as communion in The Inoperative Community (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 47. .p. a bunch of homeless people turned up daily for lunch? What would the Walker Art Center do if a certain homeless man scraped up the price of admission to the museum. What would happen if the next time Tiravanija set up a kitchen in an art gallery. 1991) has been crucial to my consideration of a counter-model to relational aesthetics. . and chose to sleep on Tiravanija’s cot all day. . took a bath or occupied the bed.p. . Kölnischer Stadt-Anzeiger quoted in Rirkrit Tiravanija. chapter 4 of Pamela M. theoretically anyone can come in [to an art gallery]. Our fear that the artliving-space might be vandalized did not come true. Untitled (Tomorrow Is Another Day). Lee’s Object to Be Destroyed: The Work of Gordon Matta-Clark (Cambridge. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.”44 The Kölnischer Stadt-Anzeiger concurred that the work offered “a kind of ‘asylum’ for everyone.” Christophe Blase. 48. . The art space lost its institutional function and ﬁnally turned into a free social space.: MIT Press. Since the mid-1990s. 2000). (It is tempting to consider what might have happened if Tiravanija’s space had been invaded by those seeking genuine “asylum. “No subject is given. Yilmaz Dziewior (Cologne: Dumont. . Tiravanija forces these questions to the forefront. 2003). and Jessica Morgan. Udo Kittelmann. Bourriaud quoted in “Public Relations: Bennett Simpson Talks with Nicolas Bourriaud. Let us return to accounts of Tiravanija’s Cologne project. Mass. Common Wealth (London: Tate Publishing.” He continues: “Groups of people prepared meals and talked. because they are addressed to a community of viewing subjects with something in common. 45. “Relations and Counter-Relations: An Open Letter to Nicolas Bourriaud. 43. Evictions. n. 106).” The “invisible enzyme” that Saltz refers to should alert him precisely to the limitations of Tiravanija’s work and its nonantagonistic approach to issues of public space (Saltz. .” in Zusammenhänge herstellen/Contextualise. In his own quiet way. at least as presented by Bourriaud. n. but—like utopia—it is still predicated on the exclusion of those who hinder or prevent its realization. I have already quoted curator Udo Kittelman’s comment that the installation offered “an impressive experience of togetherness to everybody. ed. How come they don’t? Somehow the art world seems to secrete an invisible enzyme that repels outsiders.”45 But who is the “everyone” here? This may be a microtopia.
1996. when one looks for “clear recipes” in Gillick’s work. Describing a troublesome Christian zealot who condemned other religions. Essentially. just change in general—a “scenario” in which potential “narratives” may or may not emerge. 20. Renovation Filter.p. At ﬁrst glance he appears to support Laclau and Mouffe’s antagonism thesis: While I admire artists who construct “better” visions of how things might be. He continues: “Whether this discourse is read on a naïve or a context-educated level—the intermediate level would be the obligatory reference to Duchamp—is a matter of chance and depends on the respective participants. negotiated territories I am interested in always carry the possibility of moments where idealism is unclear. Anyway. Gillick trades on the credibility of referencing architecture (its engagement with concrete social situations) while remaining abstract on the issue of articulating a speciﬁc position.” 49. “I’m working in a nebulous cloud of ideas. pp. Utopia [London: Penguin Books. his work is the demonstration of a compromise.50 However. gains a positive value as smallest denominator. and collapse in my work as there are clear recipes for how our environment can be better. quoted in Rirkrit Tiravanija. Gillick’s position is slippery. rather than an articulation of a problem. Tiravanija’s microtopia gives up on the idea of transformation in public culture and reduces its scope to the pleasures of a private group who identify with one another as gallery-goers. or however many participants are present). do not point to any particular change. but with disturbance of the peace.49 Gillick’s position on the question of dialogue and democracy is more ambiguous.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 69 the structure of his work circumscribes the outcome in advance. 51. p. Gillick. not with blasphemy. for example.”51 Unwilling to state what ideals are to be compromised. and ultimately less a democratic microtopia than a form of “third way” politics. the fact that communication in general and a discussion on art in particular takes place. and relies on its presence within a gallery to differentiate it from entertainment. this pragmatism is tantamount to an abandonment or failure of ideals. We could even say that in Gillick’s microtopia. the traveler Raphael recounts: “When he’d been going on like this for some time. The Wood Way. “which are somewhat partial or parallel rather than didactic. 1965]. 52. p. he was arrested and charged. devotion to compromise is the ideal: an intriguing but untenable hypothesis. there is no difference between utopia (societal perfection) and the microtopia. Both are predicated on exclusion of that which hinders or threatens the harmonious order. which is just personal perfection to the power of ten (or twenty.52 By contrast. The Discussion Platforms. . This is seen throughout Thomas More’s description of Utopia. December 19.” he says. There are as many demonstrations of compromise. few if any are to be found. Laclau and Mouffe’s theory of democracy as antagonism can be seen in the work of two artists conspicuously ignored by Bourriaud in Relational Aesthetics and Postproduction: the Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn and the Spanish Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. the middle-ground. n. Gillick. and ultimately he seems to argue for compromise and negotiation as recipes for improvement. 50. He was duly convicted and sentenced to exile—for one of the most ancient principles of their constitution is religious toleration” (Thomas More. 119). 81–82. strategy. Logically.
because the work acknowledges the impossibility of a “microtopia” and instead sustains a tension among viewers. which in turn serves to challenge contemporary art’s self-perception as a domain that embraces other social and political structures. “A Thousand Words. The project was a compromise. Sierra knows that there’s no such thing as a free meal: everything and everyone has a price. . Now regularly commissioned to make work in galleries throughout Europe and the Americas. but do so without collapsing these relationships into the work’s content. p. 54. See also Bourriaud’s discussion of Sierra in “Est-il bon? Est-il méchant?. But since the late 1990s Sierra’s “actions” have been organized around relations that are more complicated—and more controversial—than those produced by the artists associated with relational aesthetics. and Ten People Paid to Masturbate (2000).” Beaux Arts 228 (May 2003). the majority of his actions have taken place in Latin America. and the “realism” of their outcome is usually a savage indictment of globalization—but this is not always the case. the participants in his work. An integral part of this tension is the introduction of collaborators from diverse economic backgrounds. Sierra has attracted tabloid attention and belligerent criticism for some of his more extreme actions. and the audience. Hirschhorn was included in the exhibition GNS and Sierra in Hardcore. in which the outcome or unfolding of his action forms an indexical trace of the economic and social reality of the place in which he works. Munich is a clean and prosperous city. Sierra creates a kind of ethnographic realism. since the Kunsthalle would not let Sierra tear out a wall of their new Herzog & de Meuron gallery for workers to hold up. involves the literal setting-up of relations among people: the artist.53 These artists set up “relationships” that emphasize the role of dialogue and negotiation in their art. These ephemeral actions are documented in casual black-and-white photographs. The relations produced by their performances and installations are marked by sensations of unease and discomfort rather than belonging. 41. but Sierra still considered the outcome to be successful “since it reﬂected the reality of labor relations in Munich. and occasionally video. and consequently the only people we could ﬁnd to perform the task at hand were unemployed actors and bodybuilders who wanted to show off their physical prowess” (Sierra. like that of Tiravanija. a short text. In Elevation of Six Benches (2001) at the Kunsthalle in Munich. participants. 131). Since Sierra moved to Mexico in 1996. p.70 OCTOBER artist Santiago Sierra. While Tiravanija celebrates the gift. both held at the Palais de Tokyo in 2003. Nonidentiﬁcation and Autonomy The work of Santiago Sierra (born in 1966). such as 160 cm Line Tattooed on Four People (2000). Sierra paid workers to hold up all the leather benches in the museum galleries for set periods of time. and context.” Artforum [October 2002]. His work can be seen as a grim meditation on the social and political conditions that permit disparities in people’s “prices” to emerge. This mode of documentation appears to be a legacy of 1970s Conceptual and body art—Chris Burden and Marina Abramovic spring to mind—but Sierra’s work signiﬁcantly develops this tradition in its use of other people as performers and in the emphasis on their remuneration. However. A Person Paid for 360 Continuous Working Hours (2000).54 53.
Sierra pays others to do work for which he gets paid. physically demanding. Espacio Aglutinador. Havana. then Sierra’s is most deﬁnitely minor. his detractors argue that he is stating the pessimistic obvious: capitalism exploits. but how we receive it. But I don’t believe in the possibility of change. p.55 Sierra’s apparent complicity with the status quo does raise the question of how his work differs from that of Tiravanija. Because Sierra receives payment for his actions—as an artist—and is the ﬁrst to admit the contradictions of his situation. Remunerated to Remain Inside Cardboard Boxes. and because we believe art should be something. Sierra himself does little to contradict this view when he opines. Right: Workers Who Cannot Be Paid. Sierra. I can’t change anything. quoted in Santiago Sierra: Works 2002–1990 (Birmingham. Kunst-Werke Berlin. (Marx argued that the worker’s labor time is worth less to the capitalist than its subsequent exchange value in the form of a commodity produced by this labor. December 1999. dealers. and collectors. since the 1970s. What follows is an attempt to read the latter’s 55. . England: Ikon Gallery. 15. something that follows reality. and in turn he is exploited by galleries.) The tasks that Sierra requires of his collaborators—which are invariably useless. what matters is not the complicity. this is a system from which nobody is exempt. and on occasion leave permanent scars—are seen as ampliﬁcations of the status quo in order to expose its ready abuse of those who will do even the most humiliating or pointless job in return for money. If Tiravanija’s work is experienced in a major key. Moreover. which present it as a nihilistic reﬂection on Marx’s theory of the exchange value of labor.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 71 Santiago Sierra. It is worth bearing in mind that. 2002). We do our work because we are making art. older avant-garde rhetorics of opposition and transformation have been frequently replaced by strategies of complicity. Interpreting Sierra’s practice in this way runs counter to dominant readings of his work. Left: 250 cm Line Tatooed on Six Paid People. September 2000. There is no possibility that we can change anything with our artistic work. Courtesy Lisson Gallery and the artist.
who embrace an idea of open-endedness. Crucially. however. it is from the exclusions engendered by this demarcation that antagonism occurs. Unlike Tiravanija and Gillick. 56. The Wall of a Gallery Pulled Out. it must demarcate certain limits. for example. It has already been noted that Sierra documents his actions and thereby ensures that we know what he considers their “structure” to be.72 OCTOBER work through the dual lenses of Relational Aesthetics and Hegemony in order to tease out these differences further. Emancipation(s) (London: Verso. homelessness) in order to highlight the divisions enforced by these contexts. See Laclau. 2001.”56 Sierra’s actions. . embed themselves into other “institutions” (e. Arsenale. Sierra neither presents these divisions as reconciled (in the way Tiravanija elides the museum with the café or apartment). As Laclau argues. immigration. Venice Biennale. “Context” is a key word for Gillick and Tiravanija.) Laclau and Mouffe argue that for a context to be constituted and identiﬁed as such. trafﬁc congestion. that is constitutive of a political society. Mexico City (2000). Persons Paid to Have Their Hair Dyed Blond. 1996). yet their work does little to address the problem of what a context actually comprises. it is this “radical undecidability. Sierra delimits from the outset his choice of invited participants and the context in which the event takes place.. Sierra. It is precisely this act of exclusion that is disavowed in relational art’s preference for “open-endedness. Inclined Sixty Degrees from the Ground and Sustained by Five People. Courtesy Lisson Gallery and the artist.” and the decision that has to be taken within this. the minimum wage. (One has the impression that it exists as undifferentiated inﬁnity.g. 52–53. pp. by contrast. Take. illegal street commerce. nor as entirely separate spheres: the fact that his works are realized moves them into the terrain of antagonism (rather than the “car crash” model of collision between full identities) and hints that their boundaries are both unstable and open to change. like cyberspace.
however. most of whom came from southern Italy or were immigrants from Senegal. were denied entry to the pavilion. left over from the previous year’s exhibition. This was coupled by a gesture inside the Biennale proper. It is important that Sierra’s work did not achieve a harmonious reconciliation between the two systems. 46). in 2001. Wall Enclosing a Space involved sealing off the pavilion’s interior with concrete blocks from ﬂoor to ceiling. Sierra’s description of the work does not document the impact of his action on the days that followed the mass bleaching. This made my own encounter with them disarming in a way that only subsequent ly revealed to me my own anxiet ies about feeling “included” in the Biennale.000 lire ($60). . who used it to sell their fake Fendi handbags on a groundsheet. whose interior contained nothing but gray paint peeling from the walls.57 During the Venice Biennale. just as they did on the street. Instead of aggressively hailing passersby with their trade. Although the number of people programmed to take part in this operation was originally 200. All non-Spanish nationals. Persons Paid to Have Their Hair Dyed Blond. Sierra’s gesture prompted a wry analogy between art and commerce. Surely these guys were actors? Had they crept in here for a joke? Foregrounding a moment of mutual nonidentiﬁcation. however. Visitors carrying a Spanish passport were invited to enter the space via the back of the building. the vendors were subdued. since vendors and exhibition were mutually estranged by the confront at ion. the street vendors—who hover on street corners selling fake designer handbags—are usually the social group most obviously excluded from the glitzy opening. “The procedure was done in a collective manner inside the closed doors of a warehouse situated in the Arsenale. where Sierra gave over his allocated exhibition space in the Arsenale to a handful of the vendors. Sierra’s action disrupted the art audience’s sense of identity. quoted in Santiago Sierra. This caused numerous problems at the door. Sierra invited illegal street vendors. but it problematized any idea of these relations 57. during the inauguration of that year’s Venice Biennale. where two immigration ofﬁcers were inspecting passports. which is founded precisely on unspoken racial and class exclusions. It was then decided to shut down the entrance and calculate the number by a rough count. to have their hair dyed blond in return for 120. due to the never-ending ﬂow of people that left or entered” (Sierra. and Bangladesh. China. their newly bleached hair literally highlighted their presence in the city. The work was “relational” in Bourriaud’s sense. but moved substantially beyond this.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 73 In a work for the 2001 Venice Biennale. viewers were confronted by a hastily constructed yet impregnable wall that rendered the galleries inaccessible. but sustained the tension between them. Sierra’s return to the Venice Biennale in 2003 comprised a major performance/installation for the Spanish pavilion. On entering the building. The only condition to their participation was that their hair be naturally dark. p. as well as veiling blatant commerce. but this aftermath was an integral aspect of the work. it was ﬁnally down to 133 due to the increasing arrival of immigrants. making it difﬁcult to calculate with precision how many had already entered the hall. as they did on the street. in the style of 1970s institutional critique.
. this political commitment does not take the form of literally activating the viewer in a space: I do not want to invite or oblige viewers to become interactive with what I do. like public space. to engage myself to such a degree that viewers confronted with the work can take part and become involved. on the contrary. Venice Biennale. The most substantial example of this approach is Benjamin H. 59. most notably in Glasgow. As Laclau and Mouffe conclude. on afﬁrmation of the contingency and ambiguity of every “essence” and on the constitutive character of social division and antagonism. Right photo: Charles LaBelle. Beyond occasional references to the tendency of his work to get vandalized or looted when situated outside the gallery. politics should not found itself on postulating an “essence of the social” but. Signiﬁcantly. D. Hegemony. being ﬂuid and unconstrained by exposing how all our interactions are. 60. p. but not as actors. riven with social and legal exclusions. bound together in cheap. and the altar by immersing the viewer among found images. p. the pavilion. 2003. videos. See Laclau and Mouffe.74 OCTOBER Sierra. I want to give of myself. Buchloh.58 The work of Thomas Hirschhorn (born in 1957) often addresses similar issues. and photocopies.60 Hirschhorn’s work represents an important shift in the way that contemporary art conceives of its viewer. “Cargo and Cult: The Displays of Thomas Hirschhorn. One 58. The peripheral location of Hirschhorn’s sculptures has on occasion meant that their contents have been stolen. 193. 2000. before the exhibition had even opened.59 Hirschhorn is well-known for his assertion that he does not make political art. Wall Enclosing a Space. one that is matched by his assertion of art’s autonomy. the role of the viewer is rarely addressed in writing on his art. Left photo: Pablo Leon de la Barra.” Artforum (November 2001). His practice is conventionally read in terms of its contribution to sculptural tradition—his work is said to reinvent the monument. but makes art politically. perishable materials such as cardboard. 2000). Spanish Pavilion. in Thomas Hirschhorn: Jumbo Spoons and Big Cake (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago. 27. I do not want to activate the public. and tinfoil. brown tape. interview with Okwui Enwezor. Hirschhorn.
of whom Hirschhorn claims to be a “fan. The shacks were constructed from Hirschhorn’s signature materials: cheap timber. As a consequence. The ﬁrst housed a library of books and videos grouped around ﬁve Bataillean themes: word. a bar run by a local family.” Today. foil. and the whole installation was designed to facilitate familiarization with the philosopher. sex.” The two other shacks housed a television studio and an installation of information about Bataille’s life and work. Located in Nordstadt. plastic sheeting. and other critics as a criterion of aesthetic judgment. . made for Documenta XI. such as his “altars. but it is not manifested in the viewer’s literal activation.” It is to work with the fullest energy against the principle of “quality. Viewers were then stranded at the Monument until a return cab became available. Hirschhorn does not regard his work to be “open-ended” or to require completion by the viewer. and photocopies are juxtaposed to contextualize consumer banality with political and military atrocities. To reach the Bataille Monument. all erected on a lawn surrounded by two housing projects. advertisements. image. rather. and a sculpture of a tree. materials.. and brown tape.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 75 of the presumptions underlying Relational Aesthetics is the idea—introduced by the historical avant-garde and reiterated ever since—that art should not be a privileged and independent sphere but instead fused with “life. To make art politically is not to submit to an ideology or to denounce the system. since the politics of his practice derive instead from how the work is made: To make art politically means to choose materials that do not intimidate. In these works—as in the installations Pole-Self and Laundrette. I should like to distance my use of “quality” (as in “the quality of the relationships in relational aesthetics”) from that alluded to by Hirschhorn.”61 A rhetoric of democracy pervades Hirschhorn’s work. Ibid. 29. Several worn sofas. the Monument comprised three installations in large makeshift shacks. In locating the Monument in the middle of a community whose ethnic and economic status did not mark it as a target audience for Documenta. Michael Fried. entertainment. Hirschhorn 61. and sport. Many of Hirschhorn’s concerns came together in the Bataille Monument (2002). during which time they would inevitably make use of the bar. a suburb of Kassel several miles away from the main Documenta venues. in opposition to so-called “political art. a format that doesn’t dominate. Hirschhorn is here referring to the idea of quality espoused by Clement Greenberg. when art has become all too subsumed into everyday life—as leisure. a device that does not seduce. and video were also provided. a television. it appears in decisions regarding format.” which emulate ad hoc memorials of ﬂowers and toys at accident sites. visitors had to participate in a further aspect of the work: securing a lift from a Turkish cab company which was contracted to ferry Documenta visitors to and from the site. art. and which are located in peripheral locations around a city. p. and business—artists such as Hirschhorn are reasserting the autonomy of artistic activity. and location. both 2001—found images. texts.
Signiﬁcantly. This gesture induced a range of emotive responses among visitors.” the Bataille Monument served to destabilize (and therefore potentially liberate) any notion of community identity or what it might mean to be a “fan” of art and philosophy. Rather than make the local populace subject to what he calls the “zoo effect. to eat noodles. Morgan. Rather than offering.62 62.. Courtesy Barbara Gladstone Gallery. including accusations that Hirschhorn’s gesture was inappropriate and patronizing.76 OCTOBER Thomas Hirschhorn. but it is a painting on a museum wall. This unease revealed the fragile conditioning of the art world’s self-constructed identity. I want to do an active work. Andy Warhol’s Big Electric Chair (1967) makes me think. To me. An active work requires that I ﬁrst give of myself. The complicated play of identiﬁcatory and dis-identiﬁcatory mechanisms at work in the content. Documenta XI. Right and facing page: Bataille Monument. . in comparable circumst ances. in Common Wealth. contrived a curious rapprochement between the inﬂux of art tourists and the area’s residents. in light of the international art world’s intellectual pretensions. the viewer is no longer required to participate literally (i. or to activate a sculpture). New York. construction. p. the most important activity that an art work can provoke is the activity of thinking. ed. Hirschhorn’s Monument took the local inhabitants seriously as potential Bataille readers. 63. but it could theoret ically be rest aged elsewhere. and location of the Bataille Monument were radically and disruptively thought-provoking: the “zoo effect” worked two ways. Even more disruptively. Thomas Hirschhorn.” Hirschhorn’s project made visitors feel like hapless intruders. 2002. A work like the Bataille Monument depends on its context for impact.e. as the Documenta handbook claims. a reﬂection on “communal commitment. but is asked only to be a thoughtful and reﬂective visitor: I do not want to do an interactive work.
Yet the “birth of the viewer” 63. but also from their remoteness from the socially engaged public art projects that have sprung up since the 1980s under the aegis of “new genre public art. his art is the product of a single artist’s vision—implies the readmittance of a degree of autonomy to art. and ethical judgments have come to ﬁll the vacuum of aesthetic judgment in a way that was unthinkable forty years ago. the viewer is no longer coerced into fulﬁlling the artist’s interactive requirements. moral. and partly because contemporary art solicits the viewer’s literal interaction in ever more elaborate ways. p.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 77 The independent stance that Hirschhorn asserts in his work—though produced collaboratively. more disruptive approach to “relations” than that proposed by Bourriaud. . This is partly because postmodernism has attacked the very notion of aesthetic judgment. Ibid. political. posing questions is to come to life. Likewise. but is presupposed as a subject of independent thought. 62. the answer would be obvious: of course it does! But the fact that this question arises is itself symptomatic of wider trends in contemporary art criticism: today.. Relational Antagonism My interest in the work of Thomas Hirschhorn and Santiago Sierra derives not only from their tougher. which is the essential prerequisite for political action: “having reﬂections and critical thoughts is to get active.”63 The Bataille Monument shows that installation and performance art now ﬁnd themselves at a signiﬁcant distance from the historic avant-garde calls to collapse art and life.” But does the fact that the work of Sierra and Hirschhorn demonstrates better democracy make it better art? For many critics.
by antagonism—it does not attain the status of transparency. as I have presented them. such as 68 People Paid to Block the Entrance to Pusan’s Museum of Contemporary Art. distancing our thoughts from the predominant and preexisting consensus. This is not an issue that can be adequately dealt with here. which have simply returned in other guises. 129). then we must address this proposition seriously. The tasks facing us today are to analyze how contemporary art addresses the viewer and to assess the quality of the audience relations it produces: the subject position that any work presupposes and the democratic notions it upholds. p. “As the social is penetrated by negativity—that is. of full presence.” he says. . 225). I wish to point out only that if the work Bourriaud considers exemplary of “relational aesthetics” wishes to be considered politically. p. Mexico City (1999). . from Beuys’s social sculpture to 1980s socially engaged performance art. each of which 64. From here onward. the impossible relation between objectivity and negativity has become constitutive of the social” (Laclau and Mouffe. from Minimalist sculpture to post-Minimalist installation art in the 1970s. 65. I am reminded of Walter Benjamin’s praise of newspapers because they solicit opinions from their reader (via the letters page) and thereby elevate him/her to the status of a collaborator: “The reader is at all times ready to become a writer. 1978]. or to their literal participation in the work.65 In this light. but also a prescriber . and the letters page is but one among many other authored pages beneath the remit of this editor. Even so.64 Hirschhorn would argue that such pretenses to emancipation are no longer necessary: all art—whether immersive or not—can be a critical force that appropriates and reassigns value. Korea (2000) or 465 People Paid to Stand in a Room at the Museo Ruﬁno Tamaya. and how these are manifested in our experience of the work. “The Author as Producer. This is not to say that this work signiﬁes a return to the kind of high-modernist autonomy advocated by Clement Greenberg. 66. the motif of obstruction or blockade so frequently found in Sierra’s works is less a return to modernist refusal as advocated by Theodor Adorno than an expression of the boundaries of both the social and the aesthetic after a century of attempts to fuse them. and the objectivity of its identities is permanently subverted. . a describer. It can be argued that the works of Hirschhorn and Sierra. the newspaper retains an editor. Reﬂections [New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. but rather to a more complicated imbrication of the social and the aesthetic.78 OCTOBER (and the ecstatic promises of emancipation that accompany it) has not halted appeals to higher criteria. In this model. viewers were confronted with a series of makeshift cardboard boxes. Hegemony. for every art work—even the most “openended”—determines in advance the depth of participation that the viewer may have with it. The blockade or impasse is a recurrent motif in Sierra’s work. he gains access to authorship” (Benjamin. There is now a long tradition of viewer participation and activated spectatorship in works of art across many media—from experimental German theater of the 1920s to new-wave ﬁlm and the nouveau roman of the 1960s. Inc. are no longer tied to the direct activation of the viewer. the kernel of impossible resolution on which antagonism depends is mirrored in the tension between art and society conceived of as mutually exclusive spheres—a selfreﬂexive tension that the work of Sierra and Hirschhorn fully acknowledges.” in Benjamin.66 In his exhibition at Kunst-Werke in Berlin. It is no longer enough to say that activating the viewer tout court is a democratic act.. “that is.
its awkwardness and discomfort. Remunerated to Remain Inside Cardboard Boxes.” The persistence of this friction.67 The boxes were an Arte Povera take on Tony Smith’s celebrated 6 x 6 foot sculpture Die (1962). teacher or social-worker. It would thereby provide a more concrete and polemical grounds for rethinking our relationship to the world and to one other. Our response to witnessing the participants in Sierra’s actions—be they facing the wall. Gregory Battcock (Berkeley: University of California Press. The work of Hirschhorn and Sierra is better art not simply for being better politics (although both of these artists now have equally high visibility on the blockbuster art circuit). Berlin. The model of subjectivity that underpins their practice is not the ﬁctitious whole subject of harmonious community. but a divided subject of partial identiﬁcations open to constant ﬂux.Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics 79 concealed a Chechnyan refugee seeking asylum in Germany. reprinted in Minimal Art. alerts us to the relational antagonism of Sierra’s work. Six workers remained inside the boxes for four hours a day for six weeks. Their work acknowledges the limitations of what is possible as art (“I am not an animator. Kunst-Werke.” says Hirschhorn) and subjects to scrutiny all easy claims for a transitive relationship between art and society. 67. . but on exposing that which is repressed in sustaining the semblance of this harmony. Fried. and the scenario formalism of Gillick. sitting under boxes. This relational antagonism would be predicated not on social harmony. then Hirschhorn and Sierra provide a mode of artistic experience more adequate to the divided and incomplete subject of today. or tattooed with a line—is quite different from the “togetherness” of relational aesthetics. p. “Art and Objecthood. The works of Hirschhorn and Sierra stand against Bourriaud’s claims for relational aesthetics.” Artforum (Summer 1967).”68 In Sierra’s piece. 128. If relational aesthetics requires a uniﬁed subject as a prerequisite for community-as-togetherness. Workers Who Cannot Be Paid. art does not feel the need to defend itself. In such works. the microtopian communities of Tiravanija. Sierra seems to argue that the phenomenological body of Minimalism is politicized precisely through the quality of its relationship—or lack of relationship— to other people. The feel-good positions adopted by Tiravanija and Gillick are reﬂected in their ubiquitous presence on the international art scene. the work that Michael Fried famously described as exerting the same effect on the viewer as “the silent presence of another person. In such a cozy situation. The work does not offer an experience of transcendent human empathy that smooths over the awkward situation before us. this silent presence was literal: since it is against the law in Germany for illegal immigrants to be paid for work. Their silence was exaggerated and exacerbated by their literal invisibility beneath the cardboard boxes. and it collapses into compensatory (and self-congratulatory) entertainment. and their status as perennial favorites of a few curators who have become known for promoting their preferred selection of artists (and thereby becoming touring stars in their own right). the refugees’ status could not be announced by the gallery. (September 2000). ed. but a pointed racial and economic nonidentiﬁcation: “this is not me. 68. 1995).
. All images courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery. Photo: Pierre Huyghe. Streamside Day Follies.Pierre Huyghe. unless otherwise indicated. New York. 2003. Dia Art Foundation. Paris and New York.